The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, John Vine, has told Daybreak that the UK has a backlog of around 40,000 asylum cases which need to be addressed.
He said: "The Police National Computer was used by the [Border] Agency to find people of high harm, but was it wasn't used for was to try and trace and locate these people and that was the whole purpose of the exercise."
He added: "Remember way back in 2006, the then Home Secretary said all this backlog of cases needed to be completed by the summer of 2011, and here we are two years later and we still have a huge backlog of cases."
UK border officials failed to pursue more than 3,000 leads on missing asylum seekers, an inspector has found.
Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration John Vine said no action was taken by the now defunct UK Border Agency (UKBA) to locate positive hits, which were returned when matching asylum seeker details on the Police National Computer (PNC).
Border staff said a decision was taken not to write to applicants in relation to PNC checks because the information was deemed unreliable.
The inspector added that he was "not provided with any rationale to support this view".
He said that if the PNC checks been followed up, it might have resulted in new information coming to light that would have helped the UKBA to locate individuals.
The chief executive of Refugee Council, a charity which works with refugees and asylum seekers, said:
While the political parties continue to argue over who is responsible for the chaos at the UKBA, there is little discussion of the people who have been waiting for months or years for a decision on their cases, with their lives on hold.
We would urge the Government to focus their attentions on building a fair, humane and effective asylum system, with the protection of people fleeing persecution at its centre.
After the announcement, Home Affairs Select Committee chair Keith Vaz MP said: "The Home Secretary has done the right thing in putting the UK Backlog Agency out of its misery.
"As yesterday's Home Affairs Committee report shows, the organisation is not fit for purpose.
"However, this cannot be an excuse not to clear the backlogs, which stand at a third of a million cases.
"Ministers are now on the front line.
"Proper accountability and scrutiny of our immigration system must continue, and it will need effective and strong leadership if the Home Office is serious about having a fully functional immigration system."
The committee also launched a scathing attack on former UKBA chief Lin Homer, now the head of Britain's tax office, for her "catastrophic leadership failure" when she was in charge of the country's border controls.